This baked ziti recipe with sausage is easy and it can be prepared in advance, even the day before, and warmed up just before serving.
Ingredients and Instructions (serves 6):
- 1 pound of ziti pasta
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon of finely chopped Italian parsley
- 1/4 pound Italian sausage, mild and without casing
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup of diced mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup of grated Pecorino (Romano) cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs, plus 1/3 for topping
- 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese for topping
- salt and pepper
- Cook pasta to just before al dente.
- In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, the sausage and crumble the meat with a fork; cook for about 5 minutes until browned evenly.
- Add the wine to the skillet, scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to deglaze all the flavorful bits, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the wine is reduce to a half.
- Add to the skillet crushed tomatoes and parsley; stir, bring to a light boil, cover with a lid and cook slowly for about 30 minutes stirring frequently.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in abundant boiling salted water, but reduce the suggested cooking time on the package by 3-4 minutes. This will ensure that the pasta is not overcook once through the baking process.
- In a large bowl mix egg, bread crumbs, mozzarella, salt and pepper.
- Add the pasta to the bowl and gently toss with the egg and bread crumb mixture.
- Add the tomato sauce and gently mix together. It should be well combined, the pasta completely coated with the sauce.
- Coat a medium casserole or baking dish with the remaining olive oil, then pour the pasta into it and level the top with a spoon.
- Combine the 1/3 cup of bread crumbs and the Parmigiano cheese together, then sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
- Place in a 500 F oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool down a few minutes before serving.
Enjoy and buon appetito!
Cinzia Aversa, 2014